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10 Best Project Management Software for 2023

We’ve written the ultimate project management software buyers guide which includes a look at some of the top project management systems available.

In a hurry? These are our picks for the best project management software on the market. These are project-management.com’s editorially independent picks, based on the research and hands-on experience of our staff.

Our PickBest ForPricing Starts At

monday.com logo.

Try monday
Best All-Around PerformerFree to try • $8/user/mo.

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Wrike logo.

Try Wrike
Best for CustomizationFree to try • $9.80/user/mo.

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Smartsheet logo.

Try Smartsheet
Best for Fast-Growing TeamsFree to try • $7/user/mo.

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Asana big logo.

Try Asana
Best for Remote TeamsFree to try • $10.99/user/mo.

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ClickUp full logo.
Try ClickUp
Best for FreelancersFree to try • $5/user/mo.

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Try Trello
Best for Smaller Projects and TeamsFree to try • $5/user/mo.

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Jira Software logo.

Try Jira Software
For Agile TeamsFree to try • $7.75/user/mo.

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Airtable logo.

Visit Airtable.com
Best for Teams That Need Custom ApplicationsFree to try • $10/user/mo.

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Adobe Workfront logo.

Visit Adobe.com
Best for Enterprise Adobe UsersContact vendor for pricing

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The Basecamp logo.

Try Basecamp
Best for CollaborationFree to try • $15/user/mo.

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Featured Partners: Project Management Software

Our Picks

monday.com logo.

monday: Best All-Around Performer

monday.com’s monday work management is customizable for scalable teams, workflows, and use cases. The highly visual project management platform provides an intuitive centralized workspace for users across the organization. Easy-to-implement automations, notifications, and team collaboration simplify the assignment, tracking, and reporting of any kind of work.

Read our complete monday.com review

monday.com allows users to modify views and create dashboards to display important project information to decision-makers. monday work management offers a free plan for up to two user seats and several paid plans for teams with different work requirements. It has ready-to-use templates, unlimited project boards, interactive documents, and custom fields. The software is mobile-friendly and includes features for file and project portfolio management, email integration, calendar sync, and in-depth analytics and reporting.

monday screenshot.
Example of a monday board
• Time-saving, easy-to-implement automations
• Responsive support, with 24/7 support available in all plans
• Industry-specific variations and templates
• Visual user interface (UI) takes time to get used to
• Gantt charts export as PDFs, which may be difficult to use in other applications
• Tasks cannot be linked across boards

Why We Picked monday

monday offers nearly limitless flexibility and automations. The overall positive user experience made choosing monday.com as the Best All-Around Performer an easy decision.

The Wrike logo.

Wrike: Best for Customization

Wrike is considered by some to be one of the most powerful project management platforms, designed to help teams adapt to new ways of working. It is flexible enough to meet the disparate needs of just about any team, including marketing, design, professional services, product management, and business operations teams. The project management app can easily adapt to a variety of business needs, whether for managing Agile teams, clients, or remote workers.

Wrike waterfall chart.
A Wrike waterfall chart clearly shows due dates and dependencies

Read our complete Wrike review

Wrike offers a free plan to unlimited users with basic functionality that is sufficient for simple projects. Paid plans include more advanced features, such as shareable dashboards, interactive Gantt charts, time tracking, cross-tagging, custom fields and workflows, automation, and productivity integrations. Enterprise plans have additional security features like single sign-on (SSO), two-factor authentication (2FA), password policies, custom roles, and audit reports that are suitable for hybrid workspaces.

• Comprehensive project management with a focus on transparency and tracking
• Project and team organization can be easily customized to meet teams’ needs
• Free plan is available for unlimited users
• Mobile app needs UI/UX enhancements
• Users feel the UI could add color, Dark mode for easier veiwing
• Difficult to locate custom rules to automate tasks

Why We Picked Wrike

Wrike’s built-in customizability means a single platform can meet the needs of most, if not all, of your various teams’ needs.

Smartsheet logo.

Smartsheet: Best for Fast-Growing Teams Seeking a Secure, Scalable Solution

Smartsheet is a leading work execution platform with strong real-time work management features, collaboration, and automation tools. Organizations dynamically plan, execute, and report on work at scale for any type of project. The tool allows different views of real-time data laid out in instant Gantt, card, grid, and calendar views.

Smartsheet screenshot.
A Smartsheet at-risk report

Read our complete Smartsheet review

Smartsheet also has automatic update requests and can be used for waterfall and Agile-based projects, product launches, sprint planning, and more. The resource management feature provides real-time visibility into who is busy and who is available.

Smartsheet is a mature, feature-rich option that works well for a range of project types and processes. It is an excellent addition to project management offices, especially for teams with multiple project leaders who are responsible for providing management with detailed insights in larger cross-functional environments.

• Familiar spreadsheet-like interface can simplify onboarding and implementation
• Customizable automations are easy to use
• Users can instantly toggle between various project views
• Requires some training to be able to use it at a basic level
• Cost prohibitive for small and midsize entities
• Amount of information that can be shown may overwhelm some users

Why We Picked Smartsheet

Fast-growing teams may outgrow the one-size-fits-most capabilities of other PM systems. Smartsheet delivers for teams that need the ability to customize and build more complex functions.

Asana bog logo.

Asana: Best for Remote Teams

Asana enables more effective project and task management across the organization in one interface. It provides an organized workspace where users can look at project data using different work views, such as lists, timelines, and boards. Users can create and assign tasks, build plans, customize workflows, and track project progress over time.

An Asana kanban board.
A customized Asana Kanban-style board

Read our complete Asana review

Asana offers one of the best free plans available, with feature-rich access for teams of up to 15 people for an unlimited time. With Asana, users can easily track bugs, manage sprints, and plan and run campaigns, events, and product launches. The project management app includes built-in messaging, file storage, a workflow builder, unlimited dashboards, custom fields, forms, automation, mobile apps, portfolios, workload management, approvals, and proofing.

Asana has one of the most robust feature sets available, but we found its inability to assign tasks to more than one user created occasional speed bumps in more complex workflows. As a workaround, other individuals can be tagged in a task. This wasn’t a dealbreaker, but we’d welcome the addition of multi-user assignments.

• Flexible views and customizations give teams maximum control over their project organization and task management environments
• Comprehensive set of features, including in-app collaboration and approvals
• Robust free plan for individuals and small teams
• Does not allow tasks to be assigned to more than one user
• Needs better data export functionality
• Users want more how-to guides and case studies

Why We Picked Asana

A full-featured free-forever plan makes it easy to try Asana on for size. Then, as your team grows, Asana easily scales with your company.

The ClickUp logo.

ClickUp: Best for Freelancers

ClickUp positions itself as a project management hub where teams come together to plan, organize, and collaborate on work using tasks, documents, chat, whiteboards, and more, all in one tool. But it’s not just for traditional departments and teams — freelancers can connect with vendors, clients, and peers to work as a virtual team.

Clickup board.
ClickUp’s boards are intuitive and easy to read.

Read our complete ClickUp review

In addition to scheduling, task management, and reporting functions that are the core of any project management system, ClickUp shines in its ability to automate multistep processes that require action by multiple users. Administrators can write custom rules to define when and which user needs to complete a task. It also includes notifications telling users when action is required.

• Easy to use with in-depth features for all experience levels
• Flexible multi-function app eliminates the need for other tools
• User feedback is encouraged, driving constant site improvement updates
• Mobile dashboards could be improved
• Performance can be slow at times
• New users may be overwhelmed without reviewing tutorial videos first

Why We Picked ClickUp

Long-term success as a freelancer requires close management of your time and deliverables. With an investment of a few hours in tutorial videos, ClickUp’s ease of use and accessible feature set will lessen the workload for you and/or your team. ClickUp is great for keeping track of details, giving you more time to focus on the work that delivers your clients the most value.

Trello logo.

Trello: Best for Smaller Projects and Teams

Trello’s kanban-style list-making application is a web-based and highly visual tool for organizing projects and phases into cards and boards. With a single glance, Trello tells you exactly what’s being worked on, who’s working on it, and where certain tasks and subtasks are in progress.

trello kanban board.
Trello’s kanban boards keep information organized with cards that are moved as their status changes.

Read our complete Trello review

Trello can be thought of as digital sticky notes (cards) on a whiteboard divided into project phases. This makes it quick and easy to add details as tasks or lists, then organize, move around, and prioritize those tasks or lists. Trello is great for when your team is starting with a list of tasks and deadlines that needs to be built into an immediate action plan.

• Flexible, easy to use, and, dare we say it … fun?
• Simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface
• Add tasks and lists and quickly organize and track them
• New items get added to the end of a long list which can be inconvenient for organization when creating many cards at once
• Easy to create too many boards and lose track of things
• Not ideal for larger teams or projects

Why We Picked Trello

Making sweeping generalizations is dangerous, but we’d hazard a guess that nearly every project manager has used Trello at some point in their career. While it may be best suited for smaller-scale projects, Trello’s nearly non-existent learning curve makes it an attractive option for teams of all backgrounds. It’s especially helpful for those that don’t have the operational advantages of a trained project manager and who need a PM solution that’s ready to use out of the box.

Jira Software logo.

Jira Software: Best for Agile Teams

Jira Software is a development work collaboration tool that’s part of the Atlassian suite of products. As such, its strength lies in its robust project and issue tracking features for technical and development teams. Task management features in this project management app enable users across the organization to plan, track, manage, and complete tasks, including repeat tasks. It is free for up to 10 users with scalable paid plans for bigger teams.

Jira Work Management summary page.
Jira Software’s Summary Page presents a concise overview of your projects’ progress and health.

Jira allows users to create and manage unlimited tasks and projects. Users can access multiple views, such as lists, timelines, calendars, and boards, for different perspectives. A drag-and-drop builder lets users create forms to standardize work, and automation rules offer multiple actions to choose from. Thousands of integrations with apps, plug-ins, and add-ons make this a customizable app to fit many different project scenarios.

• Robust dev team-specific views, including requirements and test case management
• Multiple view options
• Free plan available that’s suitable for small teams
• Complicated user interface
• Calendar view needs enhancements
• No built-in timeline to track progress

Why We Picked Jira Software

If your team works in software development, engineering, or a similar field, Atlassian’s numerous solutions are likely already part of your tech stack. Seamless integration with Confluence, Slack, Microsoft Teams, HubSpot, and more than 500 other available integrations puts Jira Software on numerous shortlists.

Airtable logo.

Airtable: Best for Teams that Need Custom Applications

Airtable is a complete project management software solution that has evolved and been adapted for many business types. The software works like an Excel spreadsheet, which is familiar to most users. Features like file attachments, drop-down options, and checkboxes make it simple to set up and track projects from scratch or to use a template.

Airtable board view on laptop and mobile phone.
Views of Airtable’s project planning board shown on a laptop and mobile phone.

Read our complete Airtable review

Airtable allows teams to work together seamlessly through a centralized database for efficiency and speed. Users can access data and migrate datasets to other databases without error. They can also easily transition from a basic spreadsheet system to one that includes useful features like file attachments, kanban card stacks, revision history, calendars, and reporting.

Airtable ProsAirtable Cons
• Easy to organize, schedule, and track project progress
• Numerous templates and layouts to choose from
• Will feel familiar to those who have managed projects using spreadsheets
• Lengthy setup required, resulting in a steeper learning curve for some users
• Lack of in-app communication options
• No auto-refresh, requires manual sorting

Why We Picked Airtable

No matter how comprehensive a PM solution is, some teams have unique project management requirements that more boilerplate, robust solutions don’t meet. For those cases, Airtable’s no-code approach to building and customizing project planning software will give teams the exact solution they need.

Adobe Workfront

Workfront: Best for Enterprise Adobe Users

Adobe Workfront’s intuitive tools and project templates help teams launch projects faster. The solution includes built-in tracking, automated approvals, and analytics to help teams manage resource use for projects and project portfolios.

Adobe Workfront Gantt Chart.
Adobe Workfront Gantt Chart

Read our complete Adobe Workfront review

Workfront’s demand management feature creates request queues with auto-routing to automate work intake, assignment, and tracking. Users can create custom forms and automate approvals to further streamline work. Workfront empowers teams to easily incorporate existing Agile processes into their workflows. It supports Scrum and Kanban methodologies, as well as waterfall and hybrid work approaches.

Workfront ProsWorkfront Cons
• Simple user-friendly interface
• Strong collaboration features and functionality
• Seamless integration for teams that already work within the Adobe ecosystem
• Comprehensive feature set may create a steep learning curve
• Designed for project managers and not the people doing the work
• May be daunting for users unfamiliar with project management software

Why We Picked Adobe Workfront

Workfront’s focus on automating repetitive but mission-critical workflows allows teams to focus more time and energy on high-value work.

The Basecamp logo.

Basecamp: Best for Collaboration

Basecamp is a project management tool with integrated team communication that’s suitable for all types of work environments, especially remote work. It helps companies, teams, and individuals organize tasks, find the information they need quickly, and get real-time project progress updates. Everyone involved can collaborate with dedicated tools for planning projects, sharing files, and discussing ideas.

Basecamp kanban board.
A simple kanban board in Basecamp

Read our complete Basecamp Review

After a 30-day free trial, Basecamp’s lower-tier plan is available for $15 per user per month and includes all features for unlimited users and projects. The solution also includes a to-do list, scheduling, docs and files, charts, and automated reports. Users can choose to communicate with message boards, group chats, and/or direct messages.

Basecamp ProsBasecamp Cons
• Seamless communication and collaboration
• Configurable notifications
• Robust feature set for free plan
• No free-forever plan available for small teams/freelancers
• A single pricing plan is not ideal for all teams
• Limited drag-and-drop capabilities
• No time tracking

Why We Chose Basecamp

While we wish Basecamp’s free trial lasted longer than 30 days, the fact that Basecamp makes all of its features and capabilities available with that trial should give teams more than enough opportunity to put the system through its paces.


As a career digital project management consultant with experience working in small business and agency settings, my recommendations are based on my analysis of various popular project management tools and my own experience using them. I also evaluate information from various sources, including product specifications and user reviews and feedback.

For this buyers’ guide, I evaluated project management software tools and selected the 10 best based on the following criteria:

  1. Ease of use: The software should be user-friendly and easy to navigate for small teams with limited technical skills.
  2. Project management features: The software should provide essential features like task management, team collaboration, time tracking, and reporting.
  3. Customization: The software should offer flexibility and customization options to cater to the unique needs of small teams.
  4. Pricing: The software should be affordable for small teams, with free or low-cost options available.

Based on these criteria, I determined the options listed in Our Picks as the overall best project management software options for most teams. These tools are highly rated by users and experts, provide essential project management features, are customizable, and most offer free trials that allow users to test drive before making a financial commitment.

What Is Project Management Software?

Project management software is used to plan, schedule, track, collaborate and report on projects. More specifically, these essential tools project managers, teams, and other contributors complete tasks; record and track requirements; streamline resources; and manage time, budget, and scope constraints. Whether used as a stand-alone tool or as a suite of solutions, project management software — often shortened to PM software — is a must for any organization looking to maximize time and money while minimizing human error.

Read More: What is a Project Manager?

What Are the Different Types of Project Management Software?

There are many types of project management solutions to consider. Desktop project management applications offer advanced features, scalability, and security to support multiple users and groups over an internal network. Cloud-based project management tools have made it possible for vendors to offer sophisticated, subscription-based solutions to businesses of all sizes, making it so users can access the tool from any location. 

When selecting project management software for your business, these are the main types and formats you’ll need to consider:

Project management programs that reside on the company’s server are called local, on-site, or on-premises. The server is located inside the company’s data center behind a firewall and managed by IT employees. A common practice is for a company to purchase a single program license and then customize the package through the purchase of upgrades or updates.

When a company runs the software on its private servers, it maintains full control over the storage of data and data security protocols. It also has control over planning and scheduling software updates and minimizing downtime.

PRO TIP: Enterprises with more than 50 users can save on monthly subscription costs through the purchase of one-time license fees.

Online project management systems are accessible through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription from any internet-connected web browser. These online project management tools cater to businesses of all sizes across industries. Users in various locations can access the tool from different devices such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones to get up-to-date project status and information from a central database.

Features include multiple methods of visualizing project tasks and work progress, collaborating with coworkers, automating workflows, sharing files, messaging team members, and integrating with email.

PRO TIP: By expanding its feature sets, web-based PM software crosses into the categories of collaboration software or business process management software. This addition of multiple features and modules can be a plus or a minus depending on your team’s needs.

Single-purpose or specialized project software is designed to manage key aspects of simple projects best. These applications specialize in one particular capability, such as task management, scheduling, or time tracking.

PRO TIP: Startups and small businesses often begin with several single-purpose applications before deciding that an integrated project management solution will meet their needs at a lower cost than licensing multiple solutions.

Read More About Single-Purpose PM Software:

Top Task Management Software

Top Scheduling Software

Top Time Tracking Software

Free software is an option for small teams of just a few people. Many of these simple project management solutions are offered as a free tier by project management vendors that also provide various levels of paid service. Free tiers may have more limited features, may be restricted to a few users, or may come with limited personalized support. Small teams and those just testing out a new tool may find these options useful and benefit from free access to help in their decision-making process.

Take a look at our picks for the Best Free Project Management Software

Teams looking for a twist on free management software may benefit from a full-feature open-source option. These tools provide all of the same features you may find in a subscription or local tool and are highly customizable for different project types. However, access to support, implementation help, and custom changes will need to be managed by an in-house or third-party and technically savvy development team.

Check Out project-management.com‘s Best Open-Source Project Management Software

Not every industry is best-served with a standard project management system, and so industry-specific software for project management was developed to reduce the amount of customization a company will need upon implementation. Construction, software development, financial services, healthcare, and legal services all require specific industry-related features and customizations that make them better suited to industry work.

Dig Into Your Options: project-management.com’s Top Construction Project Management Software Review

Web-based project management programs are accessible through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription from any internet-connected web browser. These online platforms cater to businesses of all sizes across industries. Users in various locations can access the tool from different devices such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones to get up-to-date project status and information from a central database.

Today’s online project management software has a rich set of features that can compete with enterprise systems. Many of these apps provide several methods to visualize project tasks and goal progress, collaborate with coworkers, automate workflows, share files, message team members, and integrate with email.

By expanding their feature sets, online management software also fall into the categories of collaboration software or business process management software. Examples of online project management solutions include Zoho Projects, Microsoft Project, and Basecamp.

On-premise project management programs reside on the company’s own server. The server will be inside the company’s data center and managed by its IT employees. Companies often purchase a single on-premise license and may have to purchase additional upgrades or updates. Companies prefer on-premise project software due to concerns about as well as long-term costs.

When the company runs the software on its private servers, they have full control over the data storage and security protocols to protect that data. Enterprises with 50, 100, or more users can save from monthly subscription costs if they purchase one-time license fees used in on-premise project management programs. They also have control over when to schedule software updates to make preparations and not experience any downtime due to an automatic product update inherent in SaaS systems.

What Are the Most Important Features of Project Management Software?

Choosing the right features for your team will depend on the size of your team, the complexity of the projects you run, and the project types and use cases you work with. Prospective PM software buyers should look for the following features:

Task management is essential in management software. The best software for project management offers visual task management in Kanban boards, Gantt charts, waterfall dependencies, and burndown charts. Task management should allow authorized users to:

  • Set dependencies on a task
  • Create and manage subtasks from larger tasks
  • Set a task to repeat or recur at a specified time or date
  • Assign tasks to one or more people
  • Import a list of tasks from an external file

These tools give a visual representation of project progress that is often easier to understand than a set of lists or items in a spreadsheet.

Trello Kaban Board for Task Management.
Kanban boards are an intuitive way to show a project’s deliverables and progress.

Read more about Kanban with our Top 5 Kanban Board Software Buyers’ Guide

Project scheduling functionality is one of the most important features of project management software. It promotes organization in large, multiple, and remote teams. It allows the user to set schedules on tasks, create a project timeline with milestones, and determine dependencies and resources. For some, this is an essential project management function. However, for organizations with simple projects, short-duration projects, recurring tasks, or small teams, this may not be as important.

Read our Top Scheduling Software Buyers’ Guide

Collaboration tools help solve problems by making communication between team members as close to frictionless as possible. These features ensure that everyone who can see a task or portion of the project can comment, add assets to, and notate changes in the same interface where all of the project information is stored. Visual task representations, messaging, task descriptions, notation features, asset upload capabilities, tags, email integrations, calendar tools, and more are considered collaboration features. Collaboration tools enable project teams and stakeholders to:

  • Exchange information
  • Hold discussions
  • Send comments or approvals
  • Put context to project files
  • Directly message one another

Creative teams may run several smaller projects concurrently and can make use of Gantt charts and cross-team approvals to keep work flowing to reach deadlines. Large teams should use collaboration tools to keep the project up to date, alert team members to major and minor changes, and centralize assets.

Read more about Top Collaboration Software

A good project management app provides a space for teams to store and manage files directly in the tool or by using an integrated third-party solution. Document management features that are indispensable in PM software are:

  • A centralized document storage
  • The ability to attach documents to tasks
  • The ability to attach notes and comments to uploaded documents
  • Multiple document uploads using drag-and-drop functionality
  • Document organization within folders, projects, or custom settings
  • Version control
  • Security features that can restrict document sharing to a small team, an entire project, or outside parties

An online PM app also provides cloud storage space or integrates with a third-party service that provides it. Basecamp is useful project manager software that is built around a centralized project document and also provides some asset upload capabilities.

Learn all about the Best Document Management Systems

Email and chat features within top project management software will:

  • Send notifications to individual team members regarding the status of their projects
  • Send alerts regarding due dates, keywords, or status changes to individuals or the entire team
  • Make new or update existing tasks via email
  • Add comments, files, or custom labels to an existing task

This feature significantly increases productivity as the user can manage tasks and updates from their inbox without logging in to the tool. Individual members should also be able to set limits on the frequency and types of email notifications they receive.

Project management programs have reporting functionality included—but to varying degrees. Consider the depth of your reporting needs and whether the project software you’re considering meets those needs. Another feature to consider is the ability to export project data to a third-party business intelligence tool if your company has one or is planning to have one.

Helpful reporting features track progress by due date or task type, update stakeholders on resource allocation, list unfinished tasks, use tags to filter data, and estimate on-time delivery.

Read our Top Reporting Tools Buyers’ Guide

Time management features in a project management app let team members track how much time they spend on independent tasks, let project managers set ideal time goals for the project, and integrate with a timesheet or payroll app. Teams with long-term projects or that regularly employ contractors may find a PM tool like this especially useful.

In project software options built for large teams or industries with contractors, these features may also be called resource management and include expense tracking features.

A Monday.com feature for time tracking.

Read more about Time Tracking Software

Large teams that manage many concurrent, complex projects may need to track each of those projects separately while also retaining the ability to report on and analyze their progression. Project portfolio management software gives companies an interface to run several projects within one or more portfolios.

The project managers and stakeholders can then take a high-level view of project progress, quickly identify bottlenecks, and drill down into problem areas with each project. These tools are also instrumental in team resource allocation and expense tracking across a number of project timelines, as they can show where slack can be taken up by other individuals.

A key feature of project portfolio management software is its ability to scale. These tools can manage unlimited projects with their own separate settings and workflows but have reporting tools that are powerful enough to give a top-level view. Microsoft Project, Jira, and Wrike all provide project portfolio management features.

Mobile access via native project management apps helps all types of teams and is especially useful for distributed or remote teams. It provides a familiar interface and functionality so users can catch up on work, track progress, and message their teammates easily while on the go. Most PM vendors offer mobile app solutions, either as OS-native (iOS, Android) or HTML5-based web apps.

The best program management software has a solid core of PM features that allow users to manage an entire project effectively. It also has multiple integrations directly or via APIs for features and data sources outside of the project management tool. A flexible solution can readily integrate with many top project management software services in use by companies today such as Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Salesforce, or Dropbox.

Zoho Projects, Wrike, Asana, and many other project management vendors offer a lot of integrations to connect to many other types of business software.

When used for external clients, management software will help teams with additional features such as white labeling, custom branding, or customization settings. These features often appeal to sales and marketing agencies and global or multinational corporations who want to adapt their tool to meet language and cultural requirements.

Support documentation is critical for onboarding new and existing team members, allowing newcomers to learn the tools quickly and providing troubleshooting and tutorials for more experienced team members. When considering PM system options, consider the depth of support offered by vendors.

  • Help desk articles
  • Support videos
  • Periodic educational webinars
  • In-software tooltips
  • Chatbots
  • Email or phone support

Some tools offer email and phone support only to paying subscribers, while others offer only online documentation or customer forums for paid plans. If you think your team will need personalized support, look for tools with good support ratings.

What Are the Most Important Purchase Considerations for Project Management Software?

Small businesses relying on spreadsheets or whiteboards miss an opportunity to manage their projects more efficiently. They can enjoy the advantages of a modern solution and still stay within budget with careful planning and mindful selection of important items while purchasing an affordable PM solution.

User Counts

While it may be helpful for everyone on the team to have access to project management software, many options base price on user seats. Companies can identify the essential personnel who need paid access and those who can collaborate for free through guest accounts or other channels such as email. Smaller organizations can easily bring the rest of the team up-to-date through reports that are generated without costs.

Free or Low-Price Options

While every company wants to save money on their software, free plans and low-priced options are especially attractive to small businesses who run on a shoestring budget. Affordable paid plans have limitations on the number of access or features, so it is important to plan for growth or expansion.

Open-source project management can provide a free plan or low-cost option, but these tools often do not provide the technical support or frequent updates that paid SaaS tools cover.


Task and project visualizations help teams see the progress of multiple projects running at the same time. These tools can assist in managing the progress of the initiative, but they can also be useful for project planning by giving a visual mind map of the project timeline. Whether it’s through a Kanban board, Gantt chart, burndown chart, or other custom visualization, these tools give an overview of the project’s progress.

PM solutions can quickly overwhelm users with all the ways that information can be visualized. To keep from overbuying, small businesses should identify which data or metrics are most important for them to see and check that their choice of PM solution can display them by default or with minimal customization.

Growing businesses face different challenges such as the task of scaling their company requirements. Project management solutions can help these businesses make a mind map of their upcoming projects, define their project processes, refine existing inefficiencies, and improve overall project outcomes.


Midsize businesses have the tendency to adapt a greater number of solutions over time. As such, the ability of management software to integrate to these existing solutions plays a greater role. The candidate solution should have native app connections, capable of API calls, or include webhook features to automatically data transfer and speed up processes.

Time Tracking

Time tracking software helps teams track contract work, employee hours, and billable time spent on projects. Your chosen project management tool should include features that tie work hours directly to individual tasks. The solution should also be able to compute hours across projects or filter hours for individual contributors. You should also look for connections to accounting or payroll systems via export or direct integration.

Time tracking reports are useful for building a project plan because they give the team an idea of how long previous tasks have taken. This can give the project manager and the individual contributors more context when they go to assign tasks.

Reporting and Analytics

Larger teams have a greater need to track and analyze key project data that comes from multiple sources. They need software for project management with a reporting and analytics engine to display the following metrics to help in the successful delivery of projects:

  • Total tasks assigned to the project and to individual team members
  • Total time needed for tasks and overall project completion
  • Tasks by completion stage
  • Points, hours, or other metrics to indicate task and project weight

Reporting and analytics can also be useful to help the team benchmark successful projects and understand where they can streamline their processes in the future. Many teams use management software analytics in their retrospectives and for project planning.

Large companies have the financial and infrastructure resources to implement enterprise-scale solutions. They need to find the right enterprise project management tool that will maximize their resources as well as provide them the insights from across a huge amount of data while keeping data secure.


Whether your project management tool lives inside an ERP or business process management (BPM) system, or exists as a standalone solution, integrations are essential. API connections and native plugins ensure key information flows quickly into the project software and reporting metrics flow back out to the right systems.

Reporting and Analytics

Reporting and analytics features in enterprise project management tools must seamlessly integrate with organization-wide reporting and data visualization tools like Tableau and Oracle Netsuite to play a vital role in making data from your PM solution widely useful. These features show bottlenecks in the process or other indicators of needed efficiencies. They help the team build a future project plan based on real data from previous projects and provide a talking point for otherwise subjective measures.

Enterprise companies need to check if their business intelligence tool can seamlessly integrate, import directly, or is compatible with the export format of their candidate PM solution.

Granular User Controls

Data safety and security should matter to companies of any size, but enterprise companies need user controls to effectively manage data access. An enterprise company looking for its next project management solution should carefully consider how the solutions tools provide administrative authority over access to projects, the number of available user seats, and granular access to capabilities and tasks.

How to Implement the Right Project Management Software for Your Business

Companies should carefully plan how they roll out new project management software. The responsible project manager will need to first get the support of major stakeholders—from C-level executives to end users on the project team. From there, project managers should create a schedule that allocates time for learning how to use the software before taking on a major project. That way, each and every project will be set up properly.

Finally, be ready with training materials, support documentation, and (ideally) onboarding teams to ensure individuals don’t have to spend too much time learning about these project management programs and can quickly pivot back to their normal workloads.

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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.

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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.

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Start and deliver each billable and non-billable service by centralizing communication. Collaborate with teammates on tasks in real-time, streamline best practices, and let clients in on progress.

Stop spreading work across platforms. Subscribe to tasks to track progress, assign date ranges and deadlines, and check granular steps off with TODOs.

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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.

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BigTime is a leading Professional Services Automation (PSA) software that helps you scale your business by giving you the ability to track and act on your operational metrics. Even with remote work, easily manage time, expenses, and billing for multiple projects all at once, and quickly identify areas of opportunity with advanced features like resource allocation and custom reporting. With BigTime Wallet and client portal, you can get paid faster using custom invoicing and payment processing.

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Zoho Projects

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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.

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WorkOtter is the #1 ranked SaaS project, resource, and portfolio management solution. WorkOtter is disrupting PPM with features, world class support, and visual dashboards that make your PMOs look brilliant.

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Cerri Project

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Cerri Project is a comprehensive PPM solution integrating project portfolio management and strategic planning features to drive value for your business.

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Resource Guru

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Resource Guru is the fast, flexible way to schedule teams and keep projects on track. Get full visibility of who’s available and who’s overworked, so people and projects succeed in harmony. Assign work, balance workloads, and edit schedules in seconds. Keep your team up-to-date with personal dashboards and daily schedule emails. Analyze utilization rates, clients, and projects for more accurate forecasts and budgets. Trusted by companies including NASA and L’Oreal. Try it free for 30 days!

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Simple and powerful way to track and manage issues. It handles all kinds of issues (bugs, features, enhancements, and tasks) and can be used for bug tracking, development help, project management, or group task cataloging.

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