Best Project Management Tools

Top 31 Project Management Tools 2024 (Must Have)

The project management landscape has exploded with new tools and software designed to help teams collaborate, plan, and execute projects more efficiently. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine which solutions are right for your team. This comprehensive guide outlines 31 of the top project management tools available, with analysis of key features, benefits, and potential drawbacks.

Introduction to Project Management Tools

Project management tools refer to software, systems, and methods designed to help professionals plan, coordinate, and manage key aspects of a project throughout its lifecycle. This includes features to map out tasks, assign resources, manage documents, track progress, and analyze important metrics.

The goal of these solutions is to:

  • Streamline communication
  • Increase transparency into workloads
  • Improve productivity and efficiency

Selecting the right project management tools for your teams can lead to:

  • Better collaboration
  • Enhanced visibility
  • Proactive issue resolution
  • More successful on time, on budget delivery

However, with countless options on the market, finding tools that align to your workflow, needs, and preferences is essential. The following sections highlight 31 top rated solutions, grouped by capabilities, to consider.

Popular Project Management Tools

All In One Project Management Powerhouses

All-in-one solutions provide a wide range of features for managing all aspects of projects in one scalable platform. They are especially valuable for cross functional team collaboration.

1. Monday.com

Monday.com is an intuitive, visually appealing option for planning and tracking projects from end to end. Key features include:

  • Customizable dashboard
  • Task management
  • Time tracking
  • File sharing
  • Gantt charts
  • Automations
  • Reporting

The tool shines when it comes to data visualizations for understanding workloads, blockers, and progress. Setup can be complex for larger enterprises.

2. Asana

Asana is one of the most popular all in one solutions, hailed for its simple interface, powerful features, and flexibility. Key features include:

  • Project overviews
  • Task management
  • Dashboards
  • Portfolio management
  • Reporting
  • And more

It’s a great choice for agile development teams and modern enterprises. The free plan has limited features, making it better suited for smaller teams.

3. Wrike

Wrike touts robust project management capabilities alongside smooth integrations with other workplace apps. Key Wrike features:

  • Gantt charts
  • Dashboards
  • Custom fields
  • Workload management
  • Resource allocation
  • Security and permissions

It’s an intuitive solution offering clear visibility at both a macro and micro project level. However, some users report limitations with higher level roadmapping capabilities.

4. Jira

Jira is a versatile option trusted by enterprise IT and software development teams globally. Key features include:

  • Scrum/agile support
  • Roadmaps
  • Customizable workflows
  • Advanced permissions
  • Mobile compatibility

It offers endless configuration options, which also makes the platform less approachable for amateur PMs without proper onboarding and setup. But in the right hands, Jira is a powerhouse.

Team Communication Tools

Seamless communication is essential for aligning distributed project teams and stakeholders. These tools make collaborating and sharing feedback a breeze.

5. Slack

As a favored workplace communication platform, Slack needs no introduction. With its intuitive interface and abundant integrations, Slack simplifies conversations across tools. Users can:

  • Organize channels
  • Share files
  • Broadcast messages
  • Connect face to face with built-in video calls

For agile software and creative teams, Slack may be the only collaboration software needed when paired with robust task management.

6. Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams combines chat capabilities with file collaboration in dedicated workspaces. Noteworthy features consist of:

  • Group video calls
  • Secure direct messaging
  • Document co editing
  • Wiki style information sharing
  • Plus deep integration with Microsoft 365 and other MS apps
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It’s a natural choice for enterprises invested heavily in Microsoft tools. However, it may result in an echo chamber for teams that use diverse solutions.

7. Zoom

Zoom stands out as the leader in modern video communications, though it’s much more than a virtual meeting platform. Useful features include:

  • Group video conferences
  • Private chats
  • Screen sharing
  • Recording/transcriptions
  • Events
  • And more

No other tool offers the same quality of video and reliability for meetings, trainings, and workshops. It integrates nicely with popular calendar platforms as well.

Time Tracking & Estimation Tools

To deliver projects predictably, the ability to accurately track time investments and estimate work is crucial. These tools make the invisible visible.

8. TimeCamp

TimeCamp provides automatic timekeeping across apps and tasks paired with powerful reporting. It captures data including:

  • App and website usage
  • Productivity metrics
  • Activity levels
  • Attendance

Managers gain clear visibility into how staff spends time and where inefficiencies exist. The continuous tracking can frustrate employees and risks micromanaging.

9. Toggl

Toggl delivers straightforward time tracking with flexible reporting suitable for enterprise needs. Features consist of:

  • Web and mobile apps
  • Productivity metrics
  • Billable hours tracking
  • User friendly reports
  • And more

It nails the basics for those focused strictly on time management. However, linking time entries to specific tasks and projects takes extra effort.

10. Harvest

Harvest stands out as a leader in time tracking tailored for agencies and professional services teams. It provides:

  • Stopwatch tracking
  • Automated timesheets
  • Reporting by project/client
  • Invoicing tools
  • Intuitive interface

The ability to instantly turn tracked time into polished invoices makes Harvest a billing dream. Yet for technical teams, anti developer pricing may deter use.

11. Pivotal Tracker

Pivotal Tracker takes team based estimation to the next level for agile software teams with built in support for points based estimation. Teams can:

  • Estimate user stories
  • Prioritize backlogs
  • Set iteration goals
  • Review velocity

The tool simplifies capacity planning and roadmapping aligned to agile best practices. However, time tracking abilities are lacking for billing needs.

Interactive Gantt Chart Makers

For many teams, project success hinges on creating realistic project timelines and sticking to them. Robust Gantt chart software makes scheduling a breeze.

12. Smartsheet

Smartsheet offers enterprise grade project scheduling capabilities centered around Gantt charts alongside additional PM features. Users can:

  • Build interactive Gantt charts
  • Assign resources
  • Adjust schedules
  • Map dependencies
  • Track progress

It’s possibly the most intuitive Gantt chart software available, with the flexibility to meet plenty of use cases. Yet it lacks capabilities for ongoing task management after the planning phase.

13. TeamGantt

TeamGantt elevates Gantt functionality with easy to use templates, group scheduling, and advanced settings. Notable features include:

  • Interactive Gantt charts
  • Workload management
  • Dependencies
  • Baselines
  • Progress reporting

It strikes a balance between usability and advanced configuration options compared to Smartsheet. However, card style task management and boards are missing.

14. Liquid Planner

Liquid Planner adjusts schedules and plans dynamically based on team availability and task estimates with built in AI support. The platform provides:

  • Automated scheduling
  • Custom constraints
  • Workload balancing
  • Prioritization
  • Scenario modelling

For teams struggling with overflowing plates, the automated scheduling delivers on its promise. Yet steep learning curves deter many, especially at higher pricing tiers.

15. Teamweek

Teamweek simplifies roadmap and schedule creation in a fun, collaborative interface full of color. With support for:

  • Interactive Gantt charts
  • Workload distribution
  • Milestones
  • Project templates

It’s a playful, engaging platform perfect for creative agencies and fast moving startups. However, adversaries argue style overtakes depth compared to competing solutions.

Specialized Software Development Tools

For dev teams immersed in agile workflows, best of breed engineering project management tools abound. They optimize software design, development, and delivery with these standout options.

16. Trello

As a flexible kanban style task and project management tool, Trello empowers developers and creators alike. Noteworthy aspects include:

  • Custom boards
  • Cards for capturing work
  • Membership management
  • Simple interface
  • And more

It shines thanks to its versatility and abundance of integrations. Yet Trello lacks advanced roadmapping and reporting capabilities available elsewhere.

17. Jira Software

Jira Software equips dev teams with agile project planning tailored for the engineering life cycle. It delivers:

  • Backlogs/sprints
  • Custom workflows
  • Configurable boards
  • Release planning
  • Reports

When implemented effectively, Jira Software drives high functioning agile teams crazy fast. Yet in the wrong hands, poor configuration stifles velocity.

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18. VersionOne

VersionOne supports expansive business agility with enterprise level planning for agile software teams. Notable aspects include:

  • Customizable boards
  • Backlog management
  • Integrated visualization
  • Ideation features
  • Portfolio planning

It’s arguably the most configurable, scale ready agile management solution available. But comprehensive capabilities result in overwhelming complexity.

19. Pivotal Tracker

Earlier discussed for estimation abilities, Pivotal Tracker also shines as an agile first project tool for engineering teams. It delivers:

  • Backlogs
  • Estimation/points
  • Velocity tracking
  • Burndown reporting
  • Intuitive interface

Simplicity and intuitive design make this a favorite among developers and product managers alike. Yet it lacks portfolio planning and enterprise support capabilities.

20. Clubhouse

Clubhouse impresses modern software teams with clean UX and stellar prioritization features. Perks include:

  • Lightweight interface
  • Granular prioritization
  • Project milestones
  • Fast ticket creation
  • Activity streams

For fast scaling startups, Clubhouse delivers flexibility without feeling overwhelming. Yet some enterprises desire more sophisticated workflows and integrations.

Online Proofing & Review Tools

Effective design feedback workflows are essential for creative teams to deliver exceptional, client approved work efficiently. These online proofing tools streamline reviews.

21. GoProof

GoProof facilitates streamlined reviews and approvals for branding teams. Useful features consist of:

  • Visual markup tools
  • Comment threads
  • Version histories
  • Review reminders
  • Approval requests

It nails the review and approval process end-to-end for seamless collaboration between creators and clients. Yet GoProof lacks file organization and timeline capabilities of some competitors.

22. Filestage

Filestage centralizes feedback and approvals with intuitive interfaces tailored for video teams thanks to dedicated frame by frame commenting tools. It offers:

  • Timestamped comments
  • Customized workflows
  • Audit trails
  • Mobile reviewing
  • And more

For marketing and creative teams producing videos regularly, Filestage is a gamechanger. Yet it may overwhelm non video teams with unnecessary tools.

23. ProofHub

As an end to end project management solution, ProofHub simplifies feedback and approvals integrated tightly into other PM capabilities. Useful function consist of:

  • Annotation capabilities
  • Layered comments
  • Reviews & signoffs
  • Chat tools
  • Plus full PM suite

With the ability to manage milestones, tasks, and documents alongside proofing needs in one connected platform, ProofHub keeps creative teams aligned. Yet on its own, approval functionality feels basic.

Online Mind Mapping Software

Brainstorming and organizing ideas effectively sets the stage for shared understanding across project teams. These mind mapping tools lead to greater clarity.

24. Coggle

Coggle’s elegantly simple interface empowers intuitive brainstorming. Key features include:

  • Sleek mind maps
  • Collaboration
  • Sharing capabilities
  • Diagramming
  • Idea organization

It lowers barriers to turning ideas into action with lightweight, understandable diagrams. However, some power users yearn for more advanced integrations and customizations.

25. MindMeister

MindMeister enables next level mind maps with complexity suitable for enterprises. It provides:

  • Sophisticated mind maps
  • Visual dashboards
  • Integrations & APIs
  • Diagram exporting
  • Mind map libraries

From roadmapping to brainstorms and more, moving ideas from paper to action happens faster here. Yet usability suffers compared to intuitive competitor options.

26. Whimsical

Whimsical brings lightweight mind mapping and wireframing to teams across disciplines. Standout aspects include:

  • Customizable diagrams & templates
  • Stylish visual aesthetic
  • Real time collaboration
  • Markup capabilities
  • Intuitive controls

For UX designers, product managers, and marketing teams alike, Whimsical delivers easy wins during ideation phases. Yet exporting and sharing options lag behind leading alternatives.

Online Task & Project Planning Software

When it comes to project planning, basic tools get the job done but often leave much to be desired. These advanced options provide the versatility teams need.

27. Teamwork

Teamwork Projects impresses as an enterprise level PM solution centered around task and project planning alongside other PM capabilities. It offers:

  • Interactive Gantt charts
  • Customizable workflows
  • Advanced permissions & settings
  • Milestones & dependencies
  • And more

Few solutions provide the same level of versatility suitable from SMBs to global enterprises. Yet price and complexity deter small or simple use cases.

28. Workzone

Workzone optimizes team productivity with tools tailored for marketing and creative teams. Key features include:

  • Interactive Gantt charts
  • Custom fields
  • Workload management
  • File organization
  • And more

It strikes an ideal balance between simplicity and customization for project planning. However, timesheets, invoicing, and more advanced reporting capabilities are missing.

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29. Paymo

Paymo provides an affordable combination of time tracking, reporting, and planning features for SMBs. It offers:

  • Interactive Gantt charts
  • Timesheets
  • Dashboards
  • Expense tracking
  • And more

For smaller teams wanting a taste of everything without large price tags or sophistications, Paymo delivers on core needs. Yet enterprise grade support, permissions, and customizations are absent.

30. Workfront

Workfront enables robust work planning and management tailored for marketing teams and creative enterprises. Key features include:

  • Interactive Gantt charts
  • Custom dashboards
  • Resource management
  • Collaboration tools
  • And more

Top tier marketer teams leverage Workfront to deliver exceptional results thanks to tailored capabilities. Yet pricing deters early-stage companies and less intensive use cases.

31. Airtable

While not a traditional PM software, Airtable empowers custom databases suitable for managing all types of projects and workflows. Features consist of:

  • No code database builder
  • Custom forms & fields
  • Charts & bars
  • Calendar views
  • And more

For non technical users able to think beyond traditional software principles, building custom PM environments tailored to unique needs happens with ease. Yet capabilities still don’t match leading all in one PM tools.

Key Takeaways

  • All in one solutions like Asana, Monday.com and Jira offer ample PM features but can overwhelm with complexity.
  • Communication focused tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams connect distributed teams.
  • Solutions like Toggl, TimeCamp and Harvest provide visibility into team productivity.
  • Interactive Gantt chart software from the likes of TeamGantt, Smartsheet and Teamwork assist reliable scheduling.
  • Options like VersionOne, Jira Software and Pivotal Tracker optimize agile software workflows.
  • Proofing tools facilitate better asset review and approval workflows.
  • Mind mapping software leads to increased creativity and ideation.
  • Customization friendly planning tools like Workzone cater to unique team needs.

With the right project management solutions in place aligned to specific teams and use cases, the sky is the limit for delivering work efficiently, collaboratively, and successfully.

Conclusion

Project management software comes in allshapes and sizes. Yet with so many options on the market, finding tools that truly move the needle for teams requires thoughtful evaluation. This overview of 31 top project management tools only skims the surface of solutions available today. But understanding core capabilities, strengths and limitations equips organizations to select ideal tools tailored for their workflows.

Some key guiding principles when choosing PM software include:

  • Match to current processes first: Don’t force fit tools hoping teams will adjust workflows. Evaluate how existing habits and needs align instead.
  • Involve key stakeholders: Get input from managers, team members and other end-users before deciding.
  • Start small, then scale: Introduce new PM processes gradually across pilot teams before expanding company-wide.
  • Integrate with existing software: Connect tools into current ecosystems for seamless adoption.
  • Train thoroughly: Provide ample training resources and support to ensure teams get up to speed.

Remember, even the shiniest software makes little impact if not embraced by the people who will use it daily. Focus adoption efforts on driving understanding of how new project management solutions will achieve critical goals and enhance collaboration. With the right foundations, taking projects from ideas to exceptional outcomes happens more smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 3 most popular project management tools?

The 3 most popular PM tools based on market share are Asana, Monday.com and Jira. Asana and Monday.com win users over with intuitive interfaces while Jira dominates in technology verticals.

Should we use free or paid project management tools?

Free tools work fine for very small teams and projects. But for most real world needs, paid tools provide more security, support, storage, features and advanced capabilities worth the investment.

What features are most valuable in PM software?

The most valuable PM features depend on teams and use cases. But common vital features include communication, task/workload management, time tracking, budgeting, Gantt charts, file sharing, dashboards, reporting and more.

How much does quality PM software cost?

Pricing varies widely from $0 to $20+ per user monthly. Mid-range tools like Asana and Smartsheet cost around $10/user monthly. On the enterprise end, mature tools like Oracle and SAP are far pricier.

Should teams build custom PM tools internally?

Building internally only makes sense for companies with very niche needs unmatched by any vendor solution. Otherwise custom building results in slower delivery of basic capabilities compared to seasoned market solutions. Start with existing tools instead.

MK Usmaan