Project Management Software
If you’ve worked within a team or manage a team, you’ve probably noticed that project management sucks.
Project management might be hard because a process is missing and no one cares to fix it because the work is still getting done.
But at what cost?
Without seeing projects from a bird’s eye view, it makes it incredibly hard to plan for the future. This often means your team becomes reactive instead of proactive.
A team without a project management process will have trouble quantifying all the hard work they’ve been doing.
Let’s face it, we are human and humans tend to forget things.
There are many reasons you need a better way to manage your team’s projects.
I’m sure by now, you’ve probably looked for the best project management software for your team.
What should you be expecting from a project management tool anyway?
A good project management software should provide the following:
- Easy to use interface for creating projects and managing tasks
- More profound insights about bottlenecks within a project
- Project timelines that allow for context at a higher level
- Integrated collaboration for team members to stay in the loop
- A simple way of creating a kickoff plan for your projects
- Effective scheduling for projects and tasks
- Automated reminders to keep teams focused on project deadlines
- Quick and easy on-boarding process for team members
- Real-time team communication for all your projects
- No workflow obstructing barriers to climb
- Fair pricing structure for your business
Here are 2020’s best project management apps:
ProjectManager is a robust project management application developed to fit any project. Unlike other platforms, Project Manager has all the bells and whistles needed for extensive project management.
- Easy to get started
- Team Collaboration built-in (Live Chat + Discussions)
- Projects Dashboard for bird’s eye view (Real-Time)
- Gantt Charts work well for team timelines
- Task Panels give a nice progress bar and more information
- Kanban Boards make manage tasks much easier
- Timesheets are an added benefit
- Scheduling tasks for recurring or upcoming tasks
- Advanced Reports give project managers deeper insights
- Slightly expensive, especially for smaller businesses
- Free trial does require a credit card
- Gantt charts could look a bit more modern
Basecamp eliminates the need for additional project management and collaboration tools. All the power-packed features and option for unlimited users/projects for just $99 make this one of our favorite applications. In comparison to many other team management apps on the market, Basecamp is a strong contender for the top spot. If you’re looking for a tool that keeps people accountable, highly focused and promotes project communication, look no further.
- Unlimited users and projects
- Project-based calendar system
- Automated check-ins eliminate additional meetings
- File management built right into each project
- Communication tools for chatting, commenting and providing feedback
- Simple, yet robust todo creation
- Subscribe to project calendars
- Search for anything within Basecamp
- Optional notifications and pings
- Reports on due dates, assignments and more
- Forward emails to a project
- See progress over time
- Client and third-party portal
- No customizable layouts
- Time tracking is a bit clunky
- No Gantt charts or visual timelines
- Only basic reporting available
- Basic moderation seems to be missing
Get full control over your projects and team with Proofhub. This tool is used by smaller groups to centralize their project management needs in one place. Reduce the time it takes to manage your project and communicate more effectively with Proofhub.
- A centralized hub for all project
- Simple task management tools
- Collaborative discussion boards
- Group chat for communicating
- Automated workflows
- Proof and review project steps
- Track time for projects
- Create custom access roles
- Kanban board for alternative drag and drop view
- Calendar todo view with recurring project events
- Built-in feedback and proofing
- Supports multiple languages
- Extensive project reports
- White-labeling for the client portal
- Optional authorized networks
- Free trial (no credit card required)
- Lacks budgeting options
- No recurring tasks
- No workflows
- Gantt chart feature is clunky
- Too many notifications by default
Trello is the easiest Kanban project management tool we’ve used. To get started you literally click, type and you’re done. It’s an intuitive way to create your own custom workflows for your team. From my experience, getting up and running with Trello has been an absolute breeze.
- It’s free to use Trello
- Simple drag and drop Kanban board
- A quick overview of all boards
- Activity feed [New]
- Inline editing, checklists, and attachments
- Several integrations and power-ups
- Reminders for deadlines
- Email digests and notifications
- Cool voting feature
- Potentially too simple for larger teams
- No reporting like other software
- No way to track time on tasks (but plugins are available)
- No portal for clients (but you can invite to a board)
- Lacks automation tools
- No Gantt charts or visual timelines (plugins are available)
- Need a better way to export data
Workzone combines the best of both worlds when it comes to project management. Everything you love about a simple todo list but also all the stuff you actually care about from more robust tools.
- Project request forms to kickoff projects
- Simple task management reduces friction
- Visualize project timelines with Gantt charts
- Big picture view of plans for project managers
- Project templates to save time
- Email notification keep you in the loop
- Team resources report to time allocation
- Easily manage project budgets
- Manage your project milestones
- Comments on projects, tasks and even docs
- Feedback on images with the ability to approve
- Exportable pre-built or customized project reports
- Best for medium to larger size companies
- No portal for clients or third parties
- Higher learning curve than other software
Paymo acts as a source of truth for the entire company, bringing task management, planning, resource scheduling, time tracking, and invoicing under a single platform without messy integrations. The platform is pretty modular, making it accessible for both small to medium teams and freelancers who want to manage their business.
- Free trial (no credit card required)
- Central source of truth for all projects
- Includes several modules that can be hidden/displayed
- Unlimited clients, projects, and tasks
- Transform a project into a quote and vice versa
- Different project task views
- Project and task hourly budgets for progress monitoring
- Gantt Chart + Portfolio Gantt Chart
- Automatic resource scheduling
- Built-in leave planner
- Time tracking tools
- Time reports that auto update once accessed
- Invoicing + Expenses
- Each task belongs to a project
- The client portal is too light
- No Gantt Chart export
- No profitability function
- Needs a better way to export data other than API
Monday takes away the standard bloated project management features and replaces them with a simple visual project management toolset. This software is for a team who intends to spend less time planning and more time doing.
- Customizable workflows for your team
- Project tracking at a glance
- Calendar view
- Gantt charts
- Nice looking charts for overviews and reports
- View files
- Kanban style layout for alternative view
- The map view is helpful for location-based projects
- Templates for most use cases
- Collaborate on projects with team members
- Current assignment view
- Great mobile app
- A free trial is available
- Portal for clients and third parties
- Milestone tracking for projects
- Time tracking
- Lacks the ability to add sub-tasks
- Notifications tab can be overwhelming
- Pricing is not cheap for larger teams
- Adding guests costs money
You probably want to hear which one of these project management apps is best for your team. Here’s the truth; it is all dependent on how your organization works and figuring out what process is missing that will make your team more efficient.
- Are Gantt charts going to help your team figure out what projects overlap?
- Will time tracking make estimating project timeline much easier?
- Do you need storage space or can you use Google Drive, Box or Dropbox?
- Is $10 per user too expensive for your larger team?
- Are reports what is going to make the board happy?
- Do you need bug tracking, wikis and documentation?
- Should clients get access to a project portal?
These are all questions that will dictate your choice of project management software. Take your time and try to fully understand your team management needs. Figure out what will work best for your company before you make a decision.
A while back we talked about how social proof helps gain trust with your customers, well the same goes for employees. If you get the buy in from a few other team members, the employees most hesitant to try a new project management system will be more likely to trust your decision.
I work on several teams and have found that every team has used something different. I put this list together because I wanted to highlight the best project management software available in 2019. Let me know what your team uses in the comments below.