Best Project Management Software and Programs

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by Kristen Grau

Published on April 7, 2022

Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
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Whether you like to stay organized with pretty charts or with detailed spreadsheets, there's project management software that's designed for you.

Project management is simply tracking where assignments are at, who's responsible for that assignment, and when assignments are due. Having software dedicated to managing your projects can help you and your team boost productivity and stay on top of deadlines.

You don't have to be a project manager to benefit from project management software. You can be a manager trying to keep track of your team, an employee juggling multiple assignments, or even a college student trying to keep up with homework. Whatever your situation looks like, you can use project management software to your advantage.

There are many affordable options — and even free ones that include sophisticated features. Read on to discover some of the most popular software and their unique features. They are listed in alphabetical order.

Airtable

Airtable lets you create and manage databases. It's user-friendly and looks a lot like a simple spreadsheet. There are several different ways to view your databases to see where your projects are at and who's responsible for them. It uses a lot of bright colors and icons that make it intuitive to use.

Asana

Asana lets you keep track of straightforward projects. Its simplicity makes it easy to get the hang of — but it can be harder to track more complicated projects. Asana will likely work best for individuals looking to get organized and smaller organizations. If you're looking for more intricate software, opt for something else.

Basecamp

Basecamp allows you to keep track of projects. It lets you chat with team members, have automatic check-ins, and create to-do lists for your projects. Its bells and whistles make it a good choice for people looking for more thorough software. However, the free plan is relatively basic. Advanced features require you to pay for a business plan.

Casual

Casual is visuals-focused software that helps you plan your projects using maps and charts. Casual's visual aspect sets it apart since most other software is based on simple lists. If you'd prefer to look at different maps and charts, this software might be for you. If you're looking for something more sophisticated, you may be better off with different software.

ClickUp

ClickUp is a highly customizable software that accommodates complicated projects and is still easy to use. There are multiple ways you can customize the software — from view settings, task settings, role assignments, and more. ClickUp is also unique because many of its customizable features are available in its free version with unlimited tasks and members.

Float

Float describes itself as a "resource management platform" instead of project management software. Its main focus isn't to keep track of granular details. Instead, it gives you a high-level overview of your team and their capacities. You can get an overview of your projects and your team members, which allows you to plan for the long term.

GanttPRO

GanttPRO mostly allows you to track your projects via charts. Gantt is primarily known for its chart software. GanttPRO is the project management software branch of the organization that implements its chart capabilities. Its charts allow you to see how long projects will last, their start and end dates, and any overlap between projects.

Hive

Hive allows you to track unlimited tasks and projects. On top of showing you other people's progress, you can personally stay organized with in-app to-do lists, calendars, and customizable recurring tasks. You can use Hive to get as high level and granular as you want by diving deep into a project's details or just seeing an overview of your team's workload.

Jira

Jira is sophisticated project management software that can let you track many moving parts. This software can be especially helpful for larger teams. It has extensive viewing options, reporting features, and opportunities to customize. Even though it has a large capacity, it's still touted as easy to use and intuitive.

Monday.com

Monday.com is sleek and intuitive. You have options to make your interface look more like a spreadsheet or incorporate more graphic elements. Its simplicity and customization options make this a good fit for individuals and teams. If you want to drag and drop things to keep projects moving, monday.com might be right for you.

Notion

Notion allows you to customize many different templates. Some of the templates you can pick up and customize include company homepages, roadmaps and workflows, meeting notes, agendas, and more. There are free templates from Notion and paid templates from other creators available.

nTask

This software can help you manage tasks, projects, and teams. With nTask, you can get into granular details like budgets, sub-tasks, the number of issues with a project, and more. It's less focused on graphics and visuals than other software options, but you can integrate nTask with other apps to make it more visually appealing.

Quire

Quire lets you track progress with Kanban boards, which are columns that correspond with different stages in the project. You can drag and drop each project into its stage and visually understand where projects are at. Because this is Quire's specialty, there's not much of a variety of ways you can view your projects.

Slack

Slack is more of a communication tool than a full-fledged project management software. However, there are still several ways Slack can assist in project management. You'll probably be able to connect Slack to other project management software and receive notifications on when a project moves or any other updates. If you want a visual representation of where your projects are at, you probably shouldn't rely solely on Slack.

Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a scalable project management software that can support small and large organizations. It's on the more intricate side of project management software, so it may be a better fit for larger organizations that have a higher quantity of projects — or are more complex. One of the unique things about Smartsheet is its attention to securing your data.

Trello

Trello is a simple software that allows you to view projects in columns or a spreadsheet. It's best for projects and processes that aren't super complicated. You can set up rules in Trello that automate your cards — your projects — to go to a certain place or end up with a certain person once they've completed a stage.

Workzone

Workzone is unique because Workzone staff members will help get you set up on the software. They assess your needs, customize your setup, and train you on the software before starting. If you're looking for a more personal experience from your project management software, then Workzone might be for you.

Wrike

Wrike is a combination of many different types of project management software. It includes charts for workflow, Kanban boards, several templates, and other features. Wrike integrates with more than 400 other apps to give you the most customized experience possible. It's also easy to scale Wrike if your business starts rapidly expanding.

Frequently Asked Questions About Project Management

What is project management? true

Project management tracks where assignments are, determines what needs to be done to finish them, and holds the appropriate people accountable.

Nearly every organization has some formal — or informal — process for keeping track of things. Some organizations have project managers dedicated to keeping assignments moving quickly and smoothly.

Project management software can make that process easier. Many platforms are a one-stop shop for everyone in your organization to reference what they need to do and when they need to do it.

What are the five stages of project management? true
  1. Initiation. You define a project and its goals.
  2. Planning. You start visualizing the project's moving parts and formalizing its timeline and workflow.
  3. Execution. You get started on the actual substance of the project.
  4. Monitoring. You communicate the project's progress.
  5. Closure. You complete the project.
What are examples of project management? true

An example of a project would be an ad campaign from start to finish.

The process for the ad campaign would look like this: someone thinks of the project, and they flesh it out and delegate as needed. Then someone designs the ad, writes the copy, and creates any assets as needed. The assets are sent for approval, and the team is ready to launch the campaign.

Project management throughout that process can include a project manager checking in on team members individually or simply checking the project management software to see if the team is hitting its deadlines.

Feature Image: AndreyPopov / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Are you interested in learning more about careers in project management? Click for information about opportunities at all levels of education. Start planning today. We've ranked the top online bachelor's in project management programs. Compare program offerings and cost. Launch a new career with your bachelor's in project management. Time-management apps can help students master their schedules and stay focused. See how these time-management apps can work for you.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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