Best Project Management Software
Most Commonly Requested Functions
- Scheduling – A way to sequence project action points, assign dates, and direct resources.
- Planning – Provides an overview of the time window and resource allocation a project will take.
- Collaboration – Able to accommodate a team, which may share input.
- Simplicity – One of the biggest overheads in team management is training, so making the interface be intuitive and easy to pick up is crucial.
- Low Cost – Free and Open Source or web-based applications are ideal here, but some cost is justified for robust performance.
It should be noted that the concept of modern Project Management Software started on the back of the “Web 2.0” Internet movement of the early 2000s. New improvements in technology were enabling blogs, social networks, and shared workspaces in the web browser. As a result, many of the products listed below have their own “gurus,” such as Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek Software, who took to blogs to popularize the concept. This age of technology progress birthed modern eCommerce as we know it.
There are a daunting number of project management software applications out there to choose from. In this list, we will present applications with the highest recommendations.
A team management web and mobile application, Monday.com was spawned from the same company which produced the free website building service Wix.com. Monday.com boasts a user base of 80K companies and has won the 2019 Webby awards winners for the best productivity app. Integrates well with other popular online office software including MailChimp and DropBox, and scales down for small teams.
A project management application service and software suite, Wrike is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product. It is recommended for teams of 20+ and has enterprise-level capabilities. It integrates with systems such as Microsoft Teams, DropBox, Salesforce, and Adobe. Wrike has won the 2018 Best Project Management Software Award and the 2008 eWeek Excellence Award in Productivity Applications, among others.
Asana is a web and mobile application designed to simplify team-based work management. It emphasizes teams and tracking and has a comprehensive policy to organize all tiers of business communication. It’s scaled mostly for small to medium-sized businesses. Asana won the 2017 Editor’s Choice Award from PC Magazine.
A web-based application, Trello was made by Fog Creek Software, the creators behind Stack Overflow. Trello is a cross-platform listing collaborative application. It integrates with other web-based applications such as Google Hangouts and Slack. Trello’s unique interface uses a card and file attachment motif and has a comprehensive, encompassing approach. It is widely known in Silicon Valley circles, notably used by Google and Kickstarter and made Wired magazine’s 2011 list of “7 Coolest Startups.”
LiquidPlanner is a collaborative software and online project manager with a heavy focus on scheduling timelines. It scales up to large businesses and has notably served Fortune 500 enterprise-level clients such as Bayer, Cisco, and Daimler. One of the original Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) projects designed in Ruby on Rails in 2008, LiquidPlanner has enjoyed a long-standing robust reputation.
This is a web-based office suite that’s more like a virtual desktop with a project manager tacked on. It allows some collaboration with Gantt charts to track progress visually. Zoho integrates with other web software such as Slack, Google, and Dropbox. Launched in 2005, Zoho is scaled for micro-businesses and sole proprietor professionals.
Podio focuses on creative and inspiring ideas, shared on a platform that puts communication first. It boasts a user base of 400K businesses and its clients include the NFL, Sony, and Volvo. It integrates with third-party software such as Google and DropBox. PC Magazine named it in its list of “The Best Online Collaboration Software of 2016.”
One of the Ruby on Rails generation of online collaborative software, Basecamp was founded by 37Signals as a web-based project management tool in 2004. The programming language framework Ruby on Rails, itself, was created by a Basecamp partner. Basecamp is aimed mostly at large organizations and businesses.
As stated earlier, there are hundreds more Project Management Software applications and suites to choose from. The above represent simply the most-awarded, well-known, or tried-and-true with a long-standing reputation. However, the important thing in project management interfaces is that the team using it is inspired and motivated by the environment.
Good Project Management Software is a matter of cognitive harmony, which is subjective. The best software choice might be well up to the team to pick together because, in the end, it is far more important for everyone to find a platform that makes it easy for them to work at their best, rather than the objective "best" platform.