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We’ve worked with dozens of businesses and entrepreneurs throughout our online careers on hundreds of projects, both straightforward and incredibly complex. And we’ve used just about every project management software you can think of. Asana. Jira. Trello. Monday. Check, check, check, aaaand check. Based on our experiences, Monday.com is the most versatile, scalable, and all-inclusive project management platform available. It’s an excellent choice for everyone, from solopreneurs and freelancers to enterprise teams with hundreds of concurrent projects and everything in between.
The Best Project Management Software for Most
Monday.com is the gold standard for versatile and flexible project management software, making it our #1 pick for most. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small team, or an enterprise, it’s adaptable enough to match the needs of your next project.
There are dozens of free starter templates you can use to get started plus collaboration features, various project views, and hundreds of integrations with the tools you’re already using.
The 5 Best Project Management Software Options:
- Monday.com – Best project management software for most
- Asana – Best for small to midsize remote or distributed teams
- Trello – Best project management tool for small projects
- JIRA – Best project management system for agile teams
- LiquidPlanner – Best project management software for large teams
When it Makes Sense to Invest in Project Management Software
A project management software can be good for businesses no matter what stage they’re at.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a bootstrap startup looking to develop your very first product, or if you’re a legacy corporation looking to streamline your processes. A project management software can get you there.
And a good system takes all of the headaches out of project planning. Including things like:
- Assigning tasks and responsibilities
- Project and task due dates
- Daily, monthly, and annual budgets
- Your workforce and their workload
- And centralized communication
The bottom line: The best time to get project management software was yesterday. The second best time to get one is now. And with various free plans to choose from, there’s no reason not to.
#1. Monday.com – Best Project Management Software for Most
Monday.com is one of the best project management tools on the market.
In fact, it’s used by 100,000+ organizations all over the world, including eBay, Uber, Hulu, PayPal, and Adobe.
With tools like comprehensive calendar and timeline views, time tracking, and collaborative boards, Monday.com gives teams of all shapes and sizes the ability to seamlessly execute projects from day one.
On top of that, it takes less than a few minutes to get started.
You can sign up and choose from hundreds of fully customizable templates in just a few clicks to get your account set up and ready to go.
Plus, various project views give you an in-depth look at projects, workloads, task progression, and more in just a few seconds. At a glance, you can see the timeline for every member of the project, as well as their overall progress.
And you can set up automations for recurring tasks to help you minimize human error and get more done in less time.
Monday.com also comes with countless integrations.
So, you can connect the existing apps and software your team already uses to your project management system. Their most popular integrations include tools like Zoom, Slack, Salesforce, Outlook, Excel, and Zendesk.
While Monday.com doesn’t offer a free plan, paid plans are affordable and you can start with a 14-day free trial to take it for a test drive before you invest. Paid plans include:
- Basic – $8 per user per month
- Standard – $10 per user per month
- Pro – $16 per user per month
- Enterprise – Custom pricing
As you can see, the introductory plan is incredibly affordable. But it only comes with 5 GB of file storage and one week of activity logging, which may not be enough for you and your team.
However, you can easily upgrade to the Standard or Pro plan and adding new members to your account takes just a few clicks.
As such, it’s scalable and versatile enough for evolving teams of all shapes and sizes.
Sign up for a 14-day free trial to see if it’s right for you!
#2. Asana – Best for Small to Midsize Remote or Distributed Teams
Best for remote teams
With its highly collaborative boards and features, Asana is a good fit for any distributed teams out there. Prices start free with a basic plan.
Asana is an intuitive and streamlined project management tool that’s great for small- to mid-sized remote teams. In fact, its free plan is jam-packed with features that are useful to any remote team, including:
- Collaborative task boards
- Status updates
- Personal task boards
- Integrations with 100+ popular apps
When you’re ready to upgrade to a paid plan, you get more advanced features like custom fields, unlimited free guests, and private projects.
One of Asana’s newest premium features is reporting dashboards to help users visualize project data.
It’s designed to help you and your team cut down the time it takes to search for information, chase deliverables, and communicate project progress with the appropriate team members.
With it, you get real-time project insights that make sense so you can easily get a bird’s-eye view of everything and share it with everyone.
Asana’s timeline view also gives teams the ability to see their deadlines and timelines at a quick glance. So, there’s never any question as to when things need to be done and who needs to do it.
Another great feature is the ability to import spreadsheet files directly into Asana.
From there, the system automatically creates a concrete timeline for your new project. So, in just a few clicks, you can streamline and centralize everything about your project.
Asana’s workload view is an excellent way to see how many tasks each of your team members are performing each day. This helps managers ensure their employees aren’t overworked.
The workload view also comes with a handy rebalancing tool. All you have to do is drag and drop tasks to reassign them to a new person.
Asana’s basic plan is free and perfect for freelancers or small teams just getting started. However, their paid plans are a bit more expensive than some of the other options on this list.
The Business plan sitting at $24.99, but well worth it if you’re going to be using advanced features like approvals and Salesforce integration.
#3. Trello – Best Project Management Tool for Small Projects
Best project management software for small projects
Trello is a popular project management software that leverages Kanban-style boards to great success. Prices start free.
Trello is another popular project management software—and for good reason.
It’s unique and distinctive board tool along with its easy drag-and-drop feature makes project planning and collaboration a snap. It also helps that it’s free to start.
The boards really help you visualize any tasks and goals that you have to do for the day/week/month. In each board, you can include new tasks, make notes on those tasks, and add other people to collaborate on them.
It also comes with a very handy color-coding system that can help you keep track of everything at a glance.
While it does best for smaller, simple projects, Butler automations are there when you need more advanced capabilities without the hefty price tag of other project management tools.
With Butler, you can custom automations, rules, scheduled commands, and workflows to help automate mundane or repetitive tasks.
What’s even more attractive is how easy Butler is to use. You’ll go through a command-building window and select what you’d like to accomplish. From there, it builds out the automation for you.
On the free plan, you get 50 Butler command runs per month.
Prices start free. After it costs $9.99 per user a month for business class and $20.83 per user a month for Enterprise.
#4. JIRA – Best Project Management System for Agile Teams
Best project management software for agile teams
Built with software developers and IT professionals in mind, JIRA is a no-brainer when it comes to any team that leverages agile in their processes. Prices start free.
JIRA is a no-brainer when it comes to software development and IT projects. In fact, it was originally created by Atlassian to track bugs as well as manage agile projects.
Like Trello, JIRA also offers a board system in order to keep track of tasks and goals at a glance. It comes with fantastic reporting options to see the status of your project.
JIRA’s probably most known for their “issues” tool. This helps you create tickets to flag bugs or assign tasks to anyone over the course of your development cycle. This coupled with its automation engine allows you to easily trigger new steps in the development process without needing to manually do it after you complete a task.
Pricing-wise, it’s more affordable than some of the others on this list starting at $0 to you. The standard and premium plans also have a free trial if you want to try out the project management software before you purchase.
#5. LiquidPlanner – Best Project Management Software for Large Teams
Best project management software for large teams
With its automatic forecasting tool, LiquidPlanner can help you get a sense of when your tasks and projects will get done. A potentially game changing feature for the right team.
LiquidPlanner is a very unique project management software. The thing that makes it really stand out is the forecasting capabilities. It automatically estimates a time range for certain tasks, accounting for elements such as PTO, in-office hours, and other tasks as well.
Like the other options on this list, LiquidPlanner gives you the ability to see a Kanban-style view of all tasks and projects your team is working on. That means you’ll be able to see priorities and to-dos at a simple glance.
With the time tracking tool, you’ll also be able to keep track of who’s working on what and how long they’re working on it for. That can be incredibly helpful to see who could pick up some more work, who needs to reprioritize tasks, and who could use a little time off to avoid burnout. As such, this is a fantastic tool for managers as well.
With its customizable boards, in-depth analytics, and detailed dashboards, LiquidPlanner is perfect for any large team tackling those projects with big scopes.
The downside? It’s kind of expensive starting at $45 per user a month. A hefty price tag — especially if you’re already stretching the budget as it is with a big project. However, there is a 14-day free trial you could use to see if it’s good for you and your team.
Methodology for choosing project management software
We looked at three things when determining the best project management software. These are just the most common needs that we know teams are looking for—that’s why we prioritized them in this list.
In order to manage a project effectively, managers and teams need to be able to take a look at their goals and tasks for the day, weeks, and months ahead.
Only then will they be able to plan and prioritize effectively.
The major difference between the scheduling capabilities of the tools listed above comes with how you can view schedules. Some include Gantt and Kanban views, and others may only allow calendar views.
The best views for you depend on what you’re doing and how you’d like to monitor tasks as they go from creation to completion.
Another thing to think about is the number of schedules you’re handling at the same time.
Are there dozens of moving parts between each schedule or just a few? Furthermore, are there repetitive tasks you can automate with the right functionality?
Options like Trello are best suited for simple projects, but you can easily manage more than one at the same time.
However, monday.com is more versatile with more available views. Each tool approaches scheduling and task management in a unique way, so it’s important to understand how you view it and choose a tool that matches.
Collaboration is an important part of effective project execution, but there’s an important distinction when it comes to built-in collaboration tools.
Are you and your team actively collaborating inside your PM platform or does the work happen elsewhere?
In most cases, the work happens somewhere else and your project management tool acts as a placeholder for individual tasks and project progress tracking.
If that’s true for you, you can get by with basic built-in collaboration features like commenting, user tagging, and file-sharing.
Everything else happens outside of the platform. For example, collaborating in real-time on a Google Doc or Slides deck doesn’t actually happen inside your PM tool.
But you do need the capability to let your boss know it’s done and share the finished result.
Another thing to think about is the number of user seats you need. If you’re a larger team with 10 – 50 users, you’re going to need something with more streamlined collaboration features and user management capabilities than a team of five.
You need to be able to share and access files easily and quickly. This facilitates better communication and collaboration.
Without this capability, you’re going to have to rely on sharing them through less efficient methods like email or Slack, which is not ideal for busy companies.
On top of that, you need an easy way to manage file versioning. Some solutions, like Trello for example, don’t do a good job with this. So, it’s on the individual users to ensure everyone’s working with the most up-to-date files. This can get really confusing (we know from personal experience).
But on the other hand, more advanced PM tools can help automate the versioning process by automatically replacing the old version with the new.
You also should be able to easily control who has access to different documents. This is especially true if your clients or customers have access to your project management solution.
However, there are also different levels of employees who need varying levels of access to your files.
For example, not everyone needs to see your revenue reports or employee records. So, it’s crucial to have the user management features you need to ensure file security across your entire business.
Lastly, you should consider how your PM tool handles client-facing documents like SLAs, contracts, and proposals. Can clients/customers sign them electronically?
Furthermore, is versioning supported on those documents?
All of these are critical considerations to think about before making any final decisions.
In summary, the best project management software for you depends on how you plan to use it. Looking for something versatile and flexible? Monday.com is our #1 recommendation.
It’s superior set of features and tools offer an efficient way to manage projects of any size in any industry.
But if Monday.com doesn’t feel like a great fit, you can use the criteria above as you go through the process of making your final decision.