Reviews

Best Visual Project Management Tools Compared

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After reviewing 10 brands, we decided Monday.com is our favorite visual project management tool. It is a robust all-around tool for quickly assessing the status of any project. Thanks to its well-designed interface, it helps you find areas where potential problems may crop up. We will break down Monday.com’s best features, as well as the top features in our other brands, as one of them may fit your team’s requirements better.

Top Visual Project Management Tools: Golden Eggs

Through our reviews of various visual project management software tools, we selected three as our Golden Eggs, highlighting them as great brands in this space.

With Monday.com, you receive comprehensive software that works for teams of almost any size and allows you to see the progress of your project at a glance. Sign up at Monday.com today, and you can take advantage of a 14-day free trial period for most of its pricing tiers.

One of the best features found with Wrike is the ability to fully manage the resources you have devoted to the project, taking advantage of its visual interface. Visit the Wrike home page and sign up for a 14-day free trial of any of Wrike’s pricing tiers without having to provide a credit card.

Teams looking for a visual project management tool to help with software development will appreciate the collection of features in the ClickUp software package. After signing up for ClickUp, you can use the software for up to 30 days and still request a refund if you change your mind about subscribing to it.

Best Visual Project Management Tools - Golden Eggs

Visual Project Management Tools Review Process

We have a proven methodology as we put these visual project management software packages through the paces. We focus on common reasons people use these software packages to give you the most useful information about each tool. We then categorize the best tools within each use case.

We found 10 strong brands in the visual project management software space, focusing on four use cases.

When you are looking for a visual project management tool that best fits you, it requires breaking down exactly what you want from the software. Just because we believe our favorite tool will work well for most users, you may have a specific use case that is most important to you.

By highlighting these common use cases and which software packages are the best fits inside those use cases, our reviews should be more helpful for you.

The Best Visual Project Management Tools for Multiple Project Views and Roadmaps

Visualizing the project’s progress is easier when the software package provides many different views. Beyond basic Kanban boards, it’s nice to have viewing options like Gantt charts, calendar views, and timeline views. Various views can help you see potential bottlenecks to upcoming deadlines at a glance.

Monday.com

Monday.com logo

When viewing your project on Monday.com, you can use a wide range of views, including Gantt charts. Monday.com can also color code each step of the project, making it easier to visualize what is happening.

If you prefer to manage your project based on a calendar view, Monday.com also gives you this option. A calendar view helps you see when various tasks in the project are due, so you know if one of your team members is falling behind.

Individual team members can use Monday.com’s interface to create a visual dashboard that focuses only on that person’s tasks. With less clutter on the screen, a team member runs less risk of losing track of tasks when working on multiple projects at the same time. For more information, read our detailed Monday.com review.

Wrike

Wrike logo

Although Wrike has a highly useful Kanban board, one of its strengths is the ability to tune the interface to meet your team’s specific needs. Through Gantt charts and other project views, you can quickly see where the project stands.

You also can view calendars, task lists, and even subtasks, if desired, to drill down to particular aspects of the project. Wrike makes using its various views extremely easy. The process of creating Gantt charts includes a drop-and-drag interface, for example.

Wrike’s product roadmap software is one of our favorite tools. Through visual roadmaps, you can see a schedule of key dates for your projects, which helps prioritize your resources for the most important aspects of each project. We wrote a review of Wrike that can provide additional details.

Zoho Projects

Zoho Project logo.

If your favorite view for your projects involves Gantt charts, Zoho Projects is one of the best tools for using them. 

Zoho Projects offers a Gantt chart maker that allows you to customize your Gantt charts and what they display. Zoho’s software includes the ability to create dependencies between tasks that you can visualize easily. Such dependencies could affect project timelines and deadlines, so it’s important to see and comprehend them at a glance. 

Zoho Projects allows you to color-customize the most critical tasks within the Gantt chart, ensuring the entire team knows where to focus its efforts. Seeing critical tasks clearly also allows you to prioritize resources. 

The Best Visual Project Management Tools for Product and Software Development

When software development teams manage projects, they must be able to move back and forth along the project steps, dealing with issues that come up through testing. Dev teams also need excellent communication options in their software.

ClickUp

ClickUp logo

With ClickUp, product and software development teams can collaborate on their projects through instant messaging and shared documents. These features keep team members in constant communication about the project.

Development teams often have repeatable tasks that carry over from project to project. ClickUp simplifies copying these tasks to a new project, saving the team time when setting up new projects. This feature also makes sure that these important recurring tasks do not slip through the cracks in a new project.

As another benefit of using ClickUp, the interface allows you to manage agile projects easily as one of its several project view options. Agile projects break up a larger project into small chunks that the development team can often complete faster through sprints, and ClickUp excels at helping you visualize agile projects. To learn more about the pros and cons of this tool, check out our ClickUp review.

Backlog by Nulab

Backlog logo

Backlog by Nulab may not have some of the versatility of the other visual project management tools on our list, but it excels in its features for development teams.

Whether you want to focus on issue tracking, bug tracking, or version control, Backlog is a strong choice. It creates an easy-to-decipher visual representation of each of these items, so team members can see where everything stands at a glance. 

Additional features aimed at development teams include sprint planning management and real-time communications. It supports code review by integrating popular tools like Git.

Backlog even has strong smartphone apps for iOS and Android that allow team members to check in on their projects at a glance from anywhere.

Atlassian Jira Software

Jira Software logo

Jira Software from Atlassian is another visual project management tool that provides strong support for agile projects. Software and product development teams can easily manage their agile projects through the Jira Software interface, using scrum boards and Kanban boards.

Through these boards, teams can manage their projects through highly visual interfaces. You can see exactly which tasks are flowing smoothly for the agile project and which ones may cause bottlenecks you can’t afford for a sprint. Team members can switch back and forth between various views to easily emphasize the information they need.

Jira Software also supports development teams by encouraging collaboration and communication. It delivers bug tracking for software development projects, allowing all team members to access this information. If you want more information about this tool, we put together a detailed review of Jira Software.

The Best Visual Project Management Tools for Resource Management

Sometimes, one of the most important aspects of project management is managing the project’s resources properly. Visual project management software that can help you track and manage budgets, time, and expenses is especially valuable. This type of software should allow teams to generate reports containing this type of information as well.

Wrike

Wrike logo

Wrike delivers advanced features for tracking and managing resources that you’ve devoted to your projects. If your team struggles to track spending on a project or to make sure each task in the project has the resources required to move forward, Wrike can help.

Through the Wrike interface, you can see estimates for the resources that each step in the project needs. This simplifies anticipating when certain aspects of your project will need extra resources. Wrike’s multiple view options deliver the information you need at a glance, so there’s no delay in moving the necessary resources into place.

Managing and tracking time spent on the project’s various steps is also an easy process through the Wrike interface. Additionally, Wrike includes multiple pre-built reports that you can use to show exactly which resources you deployed in each step.

We put together a detailed review of Wrike that you can use to investigate this tool further.

Celoxis

Celoxis logo

With Celoxis, teams can manage and track the resources they use on each project step. One of the biggest advantages of Celoxis’ resource management features versus some other visual project management tools is the ability to deliver real-time information. Team members can see up-to-date budgets and resource deployment through graphs containing the latest information.

Additionally, you can use Celoxis’ project planning features to anticipate the types of resources required for upcoming steps in the project. If the project has individual steps that are dependent on each other and that may need to share resources, Celoxis makes these relationships easier to see.

Should you need to customize the reports and graphs that are part of the Celoxis interface, you also have this option. The ability to customize the information in the tool makes it extremely valuable for keeping track of time spent, resources used, and money spent.

ProjectManager

ProjectManager logo

One of the strongest features of ProjectManager is its ability to give you multiple views for monitoring project resources, providing impressive flexibility. You can see information about the project resources as the team uses them in real-time. Data about resources can be color-coded, making it easier for you to see what you need to know at a glance.

To simplify tracking this information, ProjectManager automatically tracks six metrics about the project’s resources. You do not have to change any of the software’s settings to start tracking this particular information.

Once you know what kinds of resources you have available for the project, you can use the features within ProjectManager to schedule and allocate them. Use Gantt charts, timesheets, and project resource reports to give managers the information they need in a format they can comprehend quickly.

The Best Visual Project Management Tools for Freelancers, Small Teams, and Personal Use

Not every team that needs visual project management software is associated with a large company. If you work with small project teams or freelancers, having a visual project management tool that carries a low price – or is even free – is a nice feature. Such tools should be easy to use, especially if you don’t need the high level of functionality that a larger team demands.

Asana

Asana logo

For small teams of freelancers or personal use, Asana has an impressive free tool that is free forever. You can have up to 15 team members on the account in the free tier, yet you have no limits on the number of tasks or projects tracked in the Asana software. 

One of our favorite aspects of Asana’s free tier is how easy it is to use. The free tier may be too simplistic for software developer teams or large teams, but it works nicely for smaller teams that don’t have complexities in the project design. However, if you want to use Gantt charts and see task dependencies, you will have to upgrade to a paid tier.

For a team of remote workers who often are working outside the office, Asana offers a smartphone app that you can use in the free tier. These apps allow team members to always stay up to date on the project’s progress. 

In the free tier, you do have to use third-party integrated apps to track time spent on tasks in the project, as this is not native to the software in the free tier.  We put together a detailed review of Asana that you can use to learn more about this tool.

Monday.com

Monday.com logo

With Monday.com, you can take advantage of the free forever tier. However, because it limits you to two users, it probably works better for someone looking to track projects on a personal level. You can use the Monday.com iOS and Android mobile apps in the free tier, ensuring that you can view the project status from anywhere.

If you want more than two seats, Monday.com does have a couple of low-priced tiers that may fit the needs of a small team of several people nicely.

Most small teams will likely select the mid-priced tier of Monday.com, as it offers an impressive set of features. These include a timeline view, Gantt charts, and a calendar view. You also can provide guest access to your project boards in the mid-priced tier, and this is a helpful way to keep stakeholders not actively working on the project up to date.

Our Monday.com review provides additional information about this valuable visual project management tool.

Trello

Trello logo

Trello also offers a free forever tier that works nicely for a small team or freelancers. Although you can only have 10 boards per workspace, you can place unlimited cards on those boards. Consequently, you can track extremely detailed projects using the free tier of Trello.

You also have access to a couple of low-priced tiers with Trello that charge per user. A small team of several people can use one of these tiers without breaking the bank. If you want views like calendar and timeline, you will have to subscribe to the mid-priced tier.

In the lowest-priced tier of Trello, you receive some nice features for small teams with complex projects to track. You can set up as many boards as you want and add custom fields. You also gain access to unlimited storage for files and documents, which is ideal for small teams that must share multiple documents to complete their projects. To learn more, check out our Trello review.

Further Reading

Our team has extensive experience using and writing about visual project management software. We have multiple other articles and resources on this topic that you can use to learn more about your options.


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